Jawaahir Dance Company
performs a women's Khaliji (Gulf) dance.
Choreographed by Kay Hardy Campbell
to Halaa, a song by the Miami (Kuwaiti) Band.
Premiered at the Southern
Theater, Minneapolis, MN in March, 2006
Photograph by Nicole
"I feel joy in my feet and light in my heart. Thank you so much for sharing this gift of dance!"
-Sara, from California, attendee at the Arab Dance Seminar, Los Angeles, 2012
"Thank you, Kay. I really enjoyed your energy, ideas and passion for women, music and dance!"
- Aleedra, from Roy, Washington, attendee at Oasis Dance Camp West, 2007
Music and Dance: The Gulf and Saudi Arabia have a rich tradition of many varieties
of folk song and dance. Women of these countries have their own traditional dances
and songs, that they perform in groups to celebrate occasions such as weddings,
school graduations and national holidays. Kay
has written numerous articles about the folk music and folk dance of Saudi Arabia
and the Gulf. See Publications for a sample of
For authentic video clips of Gulf women doing their traditional dances, see Kay's Blog.
In addition to writing about these arts, Kay teaches workshops, seminars and classes in the Gulf women's folkloric dances (Khaliji
or Khaleeji dance) across the U.S. to women at dancer-sponsored
events as well as at academic institutions including MIT, Agnes Scott College,
Wellesley College and the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. She has been the
folkloric dance instructor at Oasis
Dance Camp four times and is currently a faculty member of the Arab
Kay doesn't perform these folk dances in public, she has coached and choreographed
group dances for professional performers including Boston's Near East Dance Theatre,
Libana and the Jawaahir Dance Company of Minneapolis. Known as a 'teacher's teacher, Kay teaches these dances to share the joyous
celebrations of Arabian women's traditional culture with women in the West by
letting them experience it firsthand through music and dance.
Kay's article from Habibi magazine, 1997, is an introduction to the folk dances of women in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf countries. "Loosening Their Tresses".
Sara, CA - a participant in the November, 2012 Los Angeles Arab Dance Seminar writes,
"I wanted to tell you that I loved the material you shared. I did not know anything about the dance form, and was not expecting it to take hold of me the way it has. I love my khaliji and there are days where I could toss my hair all day! I feel joy in my feet and light in my heart. Thank you so much for sharing this gift of dance."
Alexis Knaub review of Kay's March, 2012 Khaliji dance workshop in her blog, "Undulations." You can link to her entire review here." Kay’s teaching and organization is phenomenal and comprehensive in a way I hadn’t seen before... In the Middle Eastern dance community, quite a few people talk about connecting to the music and cultural. The structure of this workshop accomplished this goal while keep things fun and moving. Besides the format, Kay (and drumming instructor Lisa Esperson) is warm, encouraging, patient, and fun. She is a phenomenally good teacher. I thoroughly, thoroughly recommend studying from her if you get a chance. If you get a chance to host her or take this workshop in this kind of format, I would have no hesitation in recommending it."
Suzanne Cuzio, Santa Cruz, CA, attendee at the 2006 Arab Dance Seminar
"I was so inspired by Kay Hardy Campbell's stories of the Saudi women's music ensembles and her own oud playing at the seminar, that I came back to CA, found an oud and a local teacher, and have since joined an Arabic music class and ensemble, which I performed with for the first time this summer. I can honestly say my life has taken a whole new direction that it never would have otherwise, because of the contacts I made and the knowledge I gained at that seminar." -
and upcoming classes:
November, 2012 - Arab Dance Seminar - Los Angeles, details at the website.
January 26, 2013 - Khaliji dance and Middle Eastern Dance workshop with Lisa Esperson. Falmouth, MA - on Cape Cod! details here.
November 1-3, 2013 - Arab Dance Seminar - Las Vegas, details at the website.
contact Kay if you are interested
in a group class for women in Khaliji dance.